LANSING, Mich., March 12, 2020 — State Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City) successfully secured funding in supplemental budget funding passed by the Michigan Legislature this week that would provide $200,000 to aid in the construction of a seawall for the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum and the USS Edson. This funding will serve to combat flooding due to record high water levels experienced in the Saginaw Bay and Saginaw River.
“With this funding, an important cultural enrichment site and source of historical pride will be able to open its doors without worrying about being stranded in the middle of the Saginaw River,” said Elder. “Michiganders come from all corners of our state to visit the USS Edson and attend the museum’s events, not to mention the significance it has to the members of our Bay City community.”
The record high water levels in 2019 led to many operational complications for the Museum, including reduced hours, the cancellation of beloved annual events and drastic reductions in parking availability for visitors.
“Due to the unprecedented high water levels, this unique naval treasure and tourist attraction is not accessible to visitors at times,” said Michael Kegley, President of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. “Our community members have worked tirelessly to secure the resources for this project and we’re grateful to have had the support of Rep. Elder and our state along the way.”
The Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum opened its doors in 2013 with the USS Edson moored to serve as a visitor attraction, educational site and memorial to servicemembers. Maintained by volunteers and one full-time employee, the Museum offers self-guided tours, group tours, weddings, parties, ceremonies, memorials and other special events.